Review: Following 2021's Aether, Jeroen Search returns to Token with this fine four-track EP. "Light Spinner" kick-starts the release in minimal mode, with Search delivering a stripped back rhythm and rolling snares. On "Six Requests", he focuses again on a 'less is more' approach. On this occasion though, the pace is more frenetic, with Search inspired by Robert Hood's mid-90s work on M-Plant. That influence is also audible on "Ten Foot Radius", a menacing, heads-down affair that resounds to eerie organs and intense bursts of percussion. "Restore Balance" rounds off the release in an abstract vein, as thunder claps roll in against the backdrop of a wiry, angular groove.
Review: Border One follows last year's Cyclone release on Token with another killer EP. While there is a focus on the harder end of techno, he still manages to inject a funky sensibility into each track. The title track sees him opt for a lean approach. Powered by a driving minimal rhythm and razor sharp percussion, these elements provide the back drop for Border One to factor in eerie synth textures. "Radiant" has a more esoteric sensibility, with Border One fusing droning textures with a slamming groove. "Transmute" sees him revert to a stripped back approach, with a focus on looped analogue riffs and a driving, insistent rhythm. That focus continues with "Prism" - characterised by a jacking sensibility, its doubled up clap and yelping tones are reminiscent of the Frozen Border/Horizontal Ground sound.
Review: Having previously contributed a track to Token's compilation 'Aphelion' back in 2014, the renowned UK producer James Ruskin is back on the label with a full three-track EP titled 'From the Ashes'. The EP kicks off with 'From The Ashes 1', a track that features a nightmarish lead synth loop that will leave you disoriented with one flick of the fader. 'From the Ashes 2' follows suit, with a hard-set groove and hi hats progressively slithering into the mix. The EP's second track boasts intricate ambiance and a cavernous acoustic that adds depth to the record. The EP's third track, 'From The Ashes 3', is a different experience altogether, with a stripped-back drum arrangement that allows bombastic synth lines to fill the space and create a sound that could easily fill a cathedral. 'From the Ashes' is a must-listen for fans of Ruskin's work and those looking for innovative and immersive techno. This EP is a testament to his capability and linear focus, solidifying his status as a master of his craft.
Review: Token has a long, storied track record when it comes to releasing distinctive music, and Aventurine marks the latest chapter in the label's story. It's fair to say that the title track inhabits a world of its own. Bells toll and a dramatic cello is audible as a Bladerunner-style spoken word unravels. This all plays out against the backdrop of razor-sharp percussion and a rattling rhythm. "Seraphic" is more linear, but also features off kilter, atmospheric tones and nagging hi hats. On "Verdant", Ignez edges nearer to what might be considered club techno but brooding textures surge to the surface. "Cure", which closes out a remarkable release, resounds to punchy drums, acting as the basis for an intertwined vocal snippets and tones.
Review: Following releases on Float and SK Eleven, Ahmet Altinbas delivers this hypnotic four-tracker for Token. The title track is based on a rolling groove and nickel-plated percussion, with hypnotic synths and tonal bleeps swirling up through the arrangement. "Integrate The Shadow" sees Altinbas adopt a more stripped back approach, as snappy hi hats and gloomy tones unfold over a lithe rhythm. "Tenacity" is powered by tough kicks and visceral sound design, while he reverts to a hypnotic approach on "Follow The Eyes". Although it's based on a high tempo, its eerie synths and subtle filters mean that it retains a softer edge compared to conventional club techno.
Review: Token has traditionally maintained a tightly-knit roster, but on this compilation it welcomes new producers to the fold. Nastia Riegel's "Pray" kick-starts Fuga with dreamy, dubbed-out techno, while Stefan Vincent's "Fever Dream" paints a hypnotic, minimal picture. On "Biomorph", Border One - who is best known for his releases on Wolfskuil - delivers a grimy, bass-heavy groove, while Dold's "My Homework Ate My Dog" and PTTRN's "Contempt/Suggest 6" are the kind of high-paced but intricate techno tracks that the Belgian label has helped to pioneer. Rounding off this fine compilation are the discordant tones of Ribe's "The Cause" and Linkan Ray's bleep-heavy "Introspective Vision".
Review: Following on from the release last year of his Strata album, Inigo Kennedy opens his 2019 account for Token. Remaining true to his sound, the title track fuses raw break beats with ghostly melodies that soar and swirl in a majestic fashion. Like the best techno, it strikes a balance between depth and force. "Tone Poem" sees the UK producer venture down a similar path, although in this instance the broken beats are heavier and more pronounced, while the melodic elements flit past in the background. Kennedy ends the release with "Turmoil", which is again a near-perfect fusion of rumbling break beats and epic, melancholic expression.
Review: Token's latest foray into the album world comes courtesy of Antigone aka Antonin Jeanson. Atypically for the label, Rising starts with a fusion of symphonic strings and dreamy synths on the the title track, while "Lost & Found" also features downtempo beats and layered textures. However, it's quickly back to dance floor business, as "Sands Of Time" and "Perchance To Dream" both see Antigone deliver a mixture of lithe tribal grooves, skipping percussion and off kilter samples. Still, it's not quite the rough, stepping sound that Token is known for and even when the French producer ups the ante, the steely drums of "Infinite Limit" resound to ghostly, evocative sound scapes. Rising marks a new departure for the label.
Review: Suspended Animation is Phase's second release on Token this year and continues one of the longest-running partnerships in contemporary techno music. The Belgian imprint has been home to Ashley Burchett's music for well over a decade, and as, this EP demonstrates, continues to support his varying takes on dance floor techno. Fittingly, "Suspended Animation (Stroke B)" is a fast-paced, pumping rhythm, powered by a sleek, pulsating bass that supports trancey hooks. On the "Stroke C)" version, Burchett opts for a slower, more heads-down approach. The bass is dense and darker, and the use of a breathy vocal sample adds to the sense of mystique.
Review: Hot on the heels of last year's Metabolism album for Token, Sigha drops a new four-track EP. "Circular" is a pounding, bleep-heavy rhythm that resounds to powerful drums. On "Gliss", the UK producer ramps up the intensity levels with droning riffs and a dense rhythm that come across like a contemporary, more refined take on vintage Steve Bicknell. "Flare" is less obtuse and experimental, with Sigha dropping hypnotic tonal bleeps over a pounding groove, in much the same manner as Mike Parker's output. Rounding off the EP is "Hum", where Sigha goes deeper and deeper into experimental sound scapes.
Review: Although he is mainly associated with his own Warm Up or Pole Group labels, Oscar Mulero started his relationship with Token back in 2008. Now a decade later, the Spanish techno powerhouse is issuing Electric Shades, a sci-fi obsessed release on the Belgian label. "Echo" resounds to eerie bleeps and a subtle groove, while at the more visceral end of the Mulero scale is the rough, doubled up rhythms of "The Voyage" and the searing, Millsian "Violet Dust". Clearly Mulero is on a journey on this release as the dense, heads down "Chasing Shadows" recalls his loopy past, while he shows a more refined, tunneling approach on "The Cycle" and "Out Of Sight".
Review: Nearly four years after he put out his last album, Vaudeville, Inigo Kennedy delivers Strata, also on Token. While the UK producer is best known for his skewed, wiry techno, his latest album marks a change of sorts. "Clarion Call (Return To Nothing)" is a serene ambient affair, and could have come from a film sound track, while on "Mood Shift" he allies dreamy textures to a linear club groove. There are also more typical Inigo Kennedy tracks, including the tranced out melodies and broken beats of "Trapezoid" and the pumping, epic groove of "Shudder", but as the melancholic spacey textures of "Stillness Expanded" demonstrate, Inigo Kennedy has revealed a new layer to his musical creativity on this release.
Review: This is Token's 80th release, but the Belgian label shows no sign of running out of steam. Indeed, the opposite is true; Boundary Interactions sees one of its main artists, Phase, deliver an abrasive but highly effective EP. "Search Party" resounds to rattling, incessant bells, firing percussion and a spacey, growling filter. It's a real peak time offering from the UK artist. By contrast, "Microdose" is more stripped back and repetitive, with a steely rhythm underpinning eerie chord sequences. Meanwhile on the title track, Phase drops a bouncy groove and, reliving the trance sound of the 90s, a melancholic melody that does a lot to dispel Token's reputation as solely serving up tough techn
Review: Inigo Kennedy is one of Token's core artists and has done more than most artists to define its sound. Following on from his collaborative work on the label's Momentum compilation, he now delivers two straight club tracks. "Magma" features melodies that weave and warble their way over a linear groove and tough, full-on kicks. It's the sound of the UK producer at his most direct and is sure to appeal to fans of the Belgian label's more heads-down releases. On "Mantle", he delves even farther into this approach. The same melodic flourishes also bubble to the surface, but the drums and percussion are even more furious, propelling Kennedy into the peak time.
Review: Token celebrates ten years in business with this excellent compilation. Unlike some imprints that use a significant milestone to simply churn out existing material, Kr!z label has taken an unusual approach by getting the label's regular contributors to collaborate with its DJ supporters. This leads to the dense broken beat of "Bloom", a track authored by Sigha and Rodhad, while on "Detonation Vertex", the Dystopian boss teams up with one of Token's core artists, O [Phase], for a tight, pulsating techno groove. O [Phase] also works with Antigone, the French producer, who is one of the label's most recent additions, for the peak time, steely rhythm of "Icosahedron Flood". Of course, the compilation also features Token's boss, with Kr!z dropping the melodic, spiky breaks of "Amalgam" with Inigo Kennedy and the detuned banger, "Comets", with CTRLS. Here's to another 10 years.
Morning Star (Marco Shuttle remix) - (7:45) 159 BPM
Review: Taken from Sigha's second album which was released this year on Token, this package of heavyweight remixes cast a hypnotic spell. Wata Igarashi delivers two versions of "Black Massing". The first, the 'Dusk Falls' version, is a dense workout that features a dynamic interplay between the pulsating bass and eerie, textured chords. The second 'Daylight Breaks' take sees the Japanese producer drop mesmerising, tranced out melodies over a bleepy groove. By contrast, Marco Shuttle delivers a droning, low tempo version of "Morning Star", replete with late night squalls, while at the other end of the spectrum, Function turns "Down" into a droning dance floor workout, led by spiky hats and a tunnelling groove.
Review: You would need to search very far to find a producer with better credentials than Neel. Real name Giuseppe Tillieci, the Italian producer and mastering engineer is one half of Voices from the Lake with Donato Dozzy and has done post-production on countless techno records. Calcata sees him fly solo and with devastating effect: the title track is an eerie, cavernous piece that resounds to powerful, slow-motion drums and eerie effects. "Re Vox" sees him pick up the pace to deliver a lean, wiry rhythm track, while on "Bassiani", he deploys chiming bells and a snaking rhythm to create a hypnotic style. "Treja" maintains the dance floor momentum, but on this occasion, it's the one-note stabs and steely percussion of Detroit minimalism that fuels Neel's creativity.
Review: It's no coincidence that the title of Antoin Jeanson aka Antigone's latest release is also the musical term for a repeating motif or phrase. Over two versions of Ostinato, the French producer delivers a master class in techno repetition. Understated and subtle but spellbindingly hypnotic, the first version sees mesmerising tones unfold over a rolling, skeletal rhythm that skits at the edges of the dance floor. On the second version, the French producer is more direct; a percussive groove prevails, with Jeanson decorating the arrangement with fuzzy filters, magical chimes, bells and ticking percussion. Irrespective of whether you are listening to this release at home or in the club, the effect will be the same - euphoria through repetition.
Review: Kennedy has put out some corkers before on Token - 2013's Cathedral springs to mind - but the tile track on his latest offering for the label really ups the ante. Less upfront than usual, it revolves around a steely, stepping rhythm, while the spellbinding tapestry of hooks and melodies ensure it stands apart. There are elements of trance, 'Artificial Intelligence' and IDM all audible here, but the manner in which the UK producer blends them so seamlessly together will leave audiences reeling. "Glacier" is a mid-tempo affair, led by a stepping rhythm and gentle electronic pulses, while "Voyager" sees Kennedy at his most cosmic as he reaches for the stars over a pulsing groove, but it's on "Tornado" that he really causes a storm.
Review: German producer Johannes Volk runs the Lifeworld and Exploration imprints. On this new EP for Belgian techno imprint Token, he firmly wears his old school influences on his sleeve. This EP being a dedication to sorts to the hypnotic polyrhythms from the late nineties and early noughties. "Designing Evolution" creates some basic trance induction with its complex layers of steel drums, bongos and syncopated 909 hats all working in wonderful unison like early James Ruskin. The bleepy bell tones and sonar qualities of "Escapism" create wonderful style of suspense over a furious warehouse groove. "Cosmic Clockwork" is the EPs true standout which is reminiscent of Jeff Mills and Oliver Ho's finest moments on Purpose Maker or Meta respectively.